Right of Appeal or not?

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    Perhaps best explained by an example.

    A claimant requests a re-determination of a Rent Officer’s decision under Reg 16.

    The re-determination comes back with the same figures as the original decision.

    The claimant asks the LA to request a re-determination themselves under Reg 15, but the LA decides there is no reason to.

    Is there a right of appeal against the decision by the LA not to request a re-determination of a rent officer decision under Reg 15?


    The claimant doesn’t actually request a re-determination, as such, they make a request for revision or appeal against the benefit award, as a result of which the authority makes the re-determination request on their behalf. (At least, I was under the impression that this is the ‘proper’ methodology.)

    If the request for revision/appeal is unsuccessful, I don’t see that the claimant can demand the authority use its own (discretionary?) power to ask for a re-determination. Could an LA choice not to request a re-determination be classed as a relevant decision?

    Unfortunately I cannot look at the DWP Manual on line as the in-house firewall software has decided that it has semi-pornographic content…


    I suspect this is probably more an issue for complaint/JR than appeal.

    I have been looking very closely at Para 6(2) of Schedule 7 over the last couple of days in connection with a Single Room Rent case. The exclusion says “so much of any decision of a relevant authority as adopts a decision of a rent officer”. What exactly does that mean?

    Taken too literally, it could be interpreted as excluding not only the content of the RO decision, but also the Council’s view that it is appropriate to use it. Issues such as:-

    – whether or not the claimant’s tenancy is subject to the maximum rent
    – whether the claimant is a Young Individual
    – whether any of the time limited exemptions apply (bereavement etc)
    – how the RO determination is used – should it be the LRR, CRR or SRR, should meals be deducted
    – is any person an occupier for size criteria purposes

    In my view, these are all matters decided by the Council under the HB Regs and they influence the final HB decision. They are in the hands of the local decision maker. The thrust of para 6(2) generally is to exclude those matters that the local DM has no control over. In the case of a Rent Officer determination, I think the intention of para 6(2)(c) is simply to prevent the Tribunal from stepping into the Rent Officer’s shoes and revlauing the property. All the issues listed above, I believe, can be looked at as part of the appeal.

    So what about the Council declining to use its own right to request a redtermination? Is it excluded by Sched 7.6(2)? I cannot see that it is; on the other hand, I don’t think it is really a component of the HB decision either. I think it is one of those preliminary issues that do not directly affect the HB “outcome”. I would group it thematically with the Council’s deliberations over whether or not to accept an out of time revision application.

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